Skip to main content
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Perception and Decision Making

Perception Header


The study of cognition is pursued at several levels, from low-level perception and attention (Dr Isabelle Mareschal, Dr Caroline Brennan) to high-level processes such as decision making, problem solving, social cognition, learning, creativity. (Dr Magda Osman, Dr Nathan Emery, Prof Lars Chittka, Dr Frederike Beyer, Dr Caroline Di B. Luft). Research in this area draws from a mixture of techniques to monitor and model both behaviour and brain activity in humans and animal models.

Dr Magda Osman discussing the UK Government's system of consent for organ and tissue donation.


Researcher Title Department

Research Interests

Beyer, Dr Frederike Lecturer in Psychology Psychology

Cognitive neuroscience, Social cognition, Sense of agency, Emotional reactivity

Brennan, Dr Caroline Reader in Molecular Genetics Psychology

Genetics and psychiatric disease, Biology and motivated behaviours, Cognition, Attention

Chittka, Prof Lars Professor of Sensory and Behavioural Ecology Psychology

Sensory systems, Comparative cognition, Insect learning and memory, Animal navigation

Di Bernardi Luft, Dr Caroline

Lecturer in Psychology


Advanced EEG/fMRI methods - Learning - Creativity - Psychophysiology - Transcranial current brain simulation

Emery, Dr Nathan

Senior Lecturer Psychology

Animal cognition, Creativity, Innovative problem-solving, Gaze following

Mareschal, Dr Isabelle

Senior Lecturer in Psychology


Gaze, Human perception, Attention, Social neuroscience

Osman, Dr Magda

Reader in Experimental Psychology


Decision making, Agency and control, Unconscious processes, Parkinson's disease



We collaborate with the following universities:


Rider A, Coutrot A, Pellicano E, Dakin S, Mareschal I (2018). Semantic content outweighs low-level saliency in determining children’s fixation of movies. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Luft C, Zioga I, Banissy M, Bhattacharya J (2017). Relaxing learned constraints through cathodal tDCS on the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Scientific Reports

Luft C, Meeson A, Welchman A, Kourtzi Z (2015). Decoding the future from past experience: learning shapes predictions in early visual cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology

Beyer F, Sidarus N, Bonicalzi S, Haggard P (2017). Beyond self-serving bias: diffusion of responsibility reduces sense of agency and outcome monitoring. Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

Coutrot A, Binetti N, Harrison C, Mareschal I, Johnston A (2016). Face exploration and gaze preference for the left eye differentiate men and women. Journal of Vision

Binetti N, Harrison C, Coutrot A, Johnston A, Mareschal I (2016). Pupil dilation as index of preferred gaze duration. Royal Society Open Science

Beyer F, Münte T, Göttlich M, Krämer U (2015). Orbitofrontal cortex reactivity to angry facial expression in a social interaction correlates with aggressive behavior. Cerebral Cortex

Parker M, Brock A, Sudwarts A, Teh MT, Combe F, Brennan C (2015). Developmental role of acetylcholinesterase in impulse control in zebrafish. Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience.

Wang MY, Brennan C, Lachlan R, Chittka L (2015). Speed-accuracy trade-offs and individually consistent decision making by individuals and dyads of zebrafish in a colour discrimination task. Animal behavior 

Proulx M, Hussein T, Parker M, Brennan C (2014). Parallel mechanisms for visual search in zebrafish. PLoS One